The Minnesota Twins announced today that former second baseman and 1991 American League Rookie of the Year, Chuck Knoblauch, has been elected to the club's Hall of Fame. Knoblauch will become the 27th member of the Twins Hall of Fame when he is inducted during a special on-field pre-game ceremony scheduled for Saturday, August 23 when the Twins host the Detroit Tigers at Target Field.
The Twins Hall of Fame, which honors players, managers, coaches and off-field personnel who have contributed to the organization's growth and success since Minnesota broke into the major leagues in 1961, was created as part of the club's 40th Season Celebration in 2000. The inaugural class of Twins Hall of Famers-Harmon Killebrew, Rod Carew, Tony Oliva, Kent Hrbek, Kirby Puckett and Calvin Griffith-was inducted on August 12, 2000. Other inductees include: pitcher Jim Kaat (2001), broadcaster Herb Carneal (2001), pitcher Bert Blyleven (2002), manager Tom Kelly (2002), long-time public address announcer Bob Casey (2003), outfielder Bob Allison (2003), catcher Earl Battey (2004), pitcher Frank Viola (2005), owner Carl Pohlad (2005), shortstop Zoilo Versalles (2006), third baseman Gary Gaetti (2007), farm director Jim Rantz (2007), pitcher Rick Aguilera (2008), pitcher Brad Radke (2009), farm and scouting director George Brophy (2009), shortstop Greg Gagne (2010), pitcher Jim Perry (2011), pitcher Camilo Pascual (2012), pitcher Eddie Guardado (2013) and director of media relations Tom Mee (2013).
"The Pohlad family and entire Minnesota Twins organization would like to congratulate Chuck Knoblauch on election to the Twins Hall of Fame," Twins President Dave St. Peter said. "Chuck's stellar play during his Rookie of the Year season was instrumental in helping our franchise secure the 1991 World Series Championship. Moreover, his on-field play throughout the course of his seven-year Twins career earned him a reputation as one of the AL's best players. The Twins organization looks forward to welcoming Chuck and his family back to Minnesota for this summer's induction ceremony."
"I am humbled and honored with the news of my election to the Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame," Knoblauch said. "Thank you to the members of voting committee-especially the Twins Hall of Famers and Twins fans everywhere - for this unbelievable recognition. It was a privilege to be part of the Twins organization and I'm incredibly grateful for the opportunity the Pohlad family, Andy MacPhail, Terry Ryan, Tom Kelly and so many others provided me. The time I spent in Minnesota will always hold a special place in my heart and my family and I are excited about returning to the Twin Cities for the induction ceremony."
Knoblauch played 12 years in the major leagues, including seven seasons with the Twins from 1991-97. He finished his Twins career playing in 1,013 games, with 1,197 hits, 210 doubles, 51 triples, 43 home runs, 391 RBI, 513 walks and holds the Twins all-time career stolen base record with 272, including a Twins single season record of 62 steals in 1997. Additionally, his 140 runs scored in 1996 are still the Twins single season club record, as he hit .341 that year. The four-time All-Star became the club's every day second baseman in 1991 when he appeared in 151 games, hitting .281, with 24 doubles, 25 stolen bases and a .351 on-base percentage, earning the 1991 American League Rookie of the Year honors. His 713 runs scored rank sixth on the Twins all-time list while his career .304 batting average ranks seventh. The Houston, Texas native was drafted by the Twins in the first round (25th overall) of the 1989 First-Year Player Draft and spent parts of his major league career with the New York Yankees and Kansas City Royals. The second baseman was named to the All-Metrodome Team in 2009 and named one of the "50 Greatest Twins" in 2010. He still remains the Twins all-time leader in several offensive categories by a second baseman.
Knoblauch was elected by a 62-member committee consisting of local and national media, club officials, fans and past elected members, using rules similar to those necessary for election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. The 62-member committee annually considers "player" personnel for induction into the Twins Hall of Fame. Knoblauch was the top vote getter, followed by Dan Gladden, Jim "Mudcat" Grant and Cesar Tovar.
In addition, 10 "non-player" candidates are considered every-other-year for election by a Veteran's Committee existing of living Twins Hall of Famers, team historians and front office leadership.
The Twins Hall of Fame membership is permanently displayed in the Hall of Fame Gallery on the Target Field Suite Level as well as on Target Plaza.
Single-game tickets to the Twins Hall of Fame induction game and all Twins home games go on-sale February 22 and will be available via twinsbaseball.com, by calling (612) 33-TWINS, (800) 33-TWINS, or in-person at the Target Field Ticket Office.